Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

MA Disability Studies

This exciting programme explores disability as an equal opportunities issue by focusing on contemporary organisations and institutionalised practice.

If you’re a service provider, practitioner or policy maker who wants to bring theory and practice together, or you’re planning a career in the field of disability, you’ll explore a range of disability-related issues from theoretical and practical perspectives.

Our refreshed core modules allow you to explore the frontiers of research in this rapidly developing field, and focus on social policy for disabled people in education, benefits, housing, transport, employment, health and social support services, as well as recent developments in social research on disability. You’ll also choose from optional modules to focus on the topics that best suit your own interests or career plans, from care to disability and development via research training or race and ethnicity studies.

Research insight

Taught by academics from the Centre for Disability Studies, you’ll learn in a stimulating environment where tutors’ teaching is informed by their own cutting-edge research.

The interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies is at the forefront of international research in the field, using social model approaches that recognise disability as a form of institutional discrimination and social exclusion, rather than a product of physical difference between individuals. You’ll benefit from the expertise of researchers from diverse backgrounds, drawing on the experiences and issues raised by the disabled people’s movement.

Profile

Claire Flegg
Alongside the teaching we have a lively reading group, guest speakers, really useful practical sessions to develop and hone our skills, and a host of other extra-curricular opportunities.

Claire Flegg

MA Disability Studies



In semester one you’ll take a core module examining recent debates and developments in social research on disability. You’ll critically assess positivist, interpretative and ‘emancipatory’ methodologies and the data collection and analysis strategies that come with them, and consider the emergence of the ‘social model’ of disability.

You’ll apply these perspectives to contemporary social policy in Semester 2, as you explore topics such as disability benefits, self-help, public amenities like housing, transport and public buildings, education, employment and social support services.

In addition, you’ll gain specialist knowledge when you select from a range of optional modules. You could pursue further training in quantitative and qualitative research methods, or study topics such as special educational needs. You’ll also focus on a specific topic when you complete your dissertation – an individual piece of research that allows you to showcase the knowledge and skills you’ve gained.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Social Policy, Politics and Disabled People 30 credits
  • Researching Culture and Society 30 credits
  • Dissertation (Disability) 60 credits
  • Debates on Disability Theory and Research 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Curriculum 30 credits
  • International Human Rights and Disabled People 15 credits
  • 'Race', Identity and Culture in the Black Atlantic 15 credits
  • Disability and Development 15 credits
  • Contested Bodies 15 credits
  • Que(e)rying Sexualities 15 credits
  • Social Policy Analysis 15 credits
  • Social Policy Debates 15 credits
  • Quantitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Qualitative Research Methods 15 credits
  • Policy and Programme Evaluation 15 credits

Learning and teaching

We use various teaching methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials in core modules. Optional modules may also include methods such as practical classes, workshops or online learning. Independent study is also crucial to this programme, allowing you to shape your own research questions, prepare for taught sessions and build research and analytical skills.

Assessment

Assessment methods are likely to vary, depending on the optional modules you choose. Most of our taught modules are assessed through written work such as essays and book and literature reviews.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in sociology, social policy or a related subject.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information please contact the School of Sociology and Social Policy Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines

  • International students: 30 June
  • UK/EU students: 31 July

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
 
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information you will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts
  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate
  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)
  • Details of two referees.

Admissions policy

School of Sociology and Social Policy Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: £8,000 (total)

International: £18,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.


Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.


Career opportunities

There is a growing demand for students with a comprehensive knowledge of disability issues in all areas of social life.

In particular, there are many career opportunities in health and social support services, education, human resources, statutory and voluntary agencies, NGOs (non-governmental organisations), INGOs (international non-governmental agencies) and charities.

There are also excellent career openings in social research and universities – you’ll be well prepared for further research at PhD level.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


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